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Design lies at the heart of both architecture and software. People continuously try to define what design is (which maybe means designers are not good at designing design), and the reason is perhaps because there is no single type of design but several. Here I’m going to talk about three that are relevant to both architects and fintech: blueprint-based design, recipe-based design, and systems design.

These three design types operate at different levels and apply to both architecture and technology alike. Blueprint-style design can be used to design individual buildings or software components; a recipe approach is best for neighborhoods or software services; and systems design applies to cities or businesses.

[Source Image: Yuri Parmenov/iStock (pattern)]

Blueprints Make An Idea Actionable

Architects normally don’t build things. An architect comes up with plans, which are then given to the person who executes them – the contractor.

This is the first step in dispelling a myth that permeates not only fintech but the whole of technology. This myth, often propagated by technology investors, is that ideas don’t matter, just execution. Of course this is convenient for VCs who rely on the free flow of ideas for access to deal flow, and don’t sign NDAs.

But in between an idea and the execution is a plan; this is what architects do and it differentiates between bad ideas and ideas that have the potential to change the world. To take one example: PayPal. In its original form, PayPal was a simple idea: to be able to transfer money between digital devices. But the original plan for that idea, to beam it via infrared on Palm Pilots, wasn’t great. The plan evolved into using email addresses as a proxy for a bank account number, which was unique and memorable. From there it developed into a plan for execution that allowed PayPal to become a multibillion dollar company rather than a widget for a soon-to-be-obsolete device. The idea remained constant, but execution was impossible until the right plan was in place. Where an idea stops and a plan starts is not always obvious, but the combination of the two is what makes ideas work, not just execution.

[Source Image: Yuri Parmenov/iStock (pattern)]

Software-Based Financial Services Can Signal Quality Via Usability

When financial services were primarily delivered via physical outlets, many of the design “touchpoints” in their services were literally architecture– big expensive stone buildings with columns and pediments or, more recently, high-tech glass and steel. This was mostly signaling: Ironically, banks were spending money on expensive architecture to show they were so good at securing and making money that they could afford to. What was missing was the customer; those outlays were meant to speak to brand value, but not practical value. They were like thrushes, which sing themselves to death to show they are so good at catching worms, they can afford to waste calories.

Source : https://www.fastcodesign.com/90168089/tech-needs-architects

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